It’s been an aggressive purge. In the wake of the attempted coup against the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, his government has been punishing followers of the Turkish preacher, former imam, writer, and political figure Fethullah Gülen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States.
Mr. Erdoğan blames Mr. Gülen for the coup, a charge the imam denies. He has already persecuted Gülen followers that live in Turkey.
Now Mr. Erdoğan wants to pursue Gülen followers in other countries too, including Germany, where members of his family are said to live.
The Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu told reporters on CNN Türk that he knows many Gülen followers who are in Germany. “It is necessary to extradite them,” he said in the interview.
The demand could be extremely tricky for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, coming at a moment when Germany’s relations with Turkey are going through a sensitive phase. Ms. Merkel needs the country’s help to stem the flow of refugees into Europe and consequently Germany.